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First Team

Siriki loving life at Vitality Stadium


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Recent recruit Siriki Dembele says he is relishing showcasing his talents in an "intense" new environment at Vitality Stadium.

Dembele joined AFC Bournemouth from Peterborough United in January, one of seven transfer window signings made by the club.

The skilful winger has already made a significant impact for the Cherries, his dramatic late goal earning Scott Parker’s team victory at Blackpool last month.

Dembele also played his part in wins over Birmingham and Stoke and will be hoping to feature when former club Peterborough come to town on Tuesday (7.45pm kick-off).

“I’m really enjoying it here,” said Dembele, speaking to afcb.co.uk. “It’s a different environment. It’s more intense and the demands are greater but really enjoyable.

“I really like the football we play and I feel we’ve got a good chance of getting promoted.”

A regular starter during the past two seasons with Peterborough, Dembele knows he will need to make the most of his opportunities with Parker’s strong squad.

He added: “It’s a good squad with lots of good players. Everyone wants to play so you need to be on it at all times.

“I wasn’t expecting to start against Birmingham because it was my first game. I enjoy playing all the time and it has been a bit different, even though it’s only three or four games.

“When the squad is big and there are lots of players, you may not always play and you have to adapt to that. When you get called upon, you do what you can.”

Dembele bagged 31 goals in 148 games in all competitions for Peterborough, his exploits helping them win promotion to the Championship last season.

Signed from Grimsby by former Posh boss Steve Evans, the 25-year-old continued his development under Darren Ferguson, who resigned as manager last month.

Dembele said: “I really enjoyed my time there. When I came here, it was a fixture I was looking forward to and it will be good to see everyone again.

“Darren Ferguson is a good guy. Results weren’t really going their way. Not just him but a lot of managers will probably leave when it gets like that and I think that’s what happened.

“He was there for the majority of my time at the club. He always played me which showed he had belief, faith and trust in me.”

Asked whether he was surprised to see the Posh at the foot of the Championship, Dembele said: “They are a good side. Some games went against them and I think it looks worse than it actually is.

“It is a bit of a surprise but, at the same time, when you come into the Championship, you need to get better players and improve the squad.

“You can be the best and still lose so we will treat it like any other game because, as soon as you step on the pitch, anything can happen.”

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